The US justice charges four agents for the “excessive use of force” that killed Breonna Taylor | International
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The Black Lives Matter movement (Black lives matter) has scored a new victory this Thursday. The Department of Justice has today charged four agents and former agents of the Louisville (Kentucky) Metropolitan Police Department with violating the civil rights of Breonna Taylor, a young African-American woman who died at her home in March 2020 during a police operation against the drug trafficking The case of Breonna Taylor was partially obscured by the murder, two months later, of George Floyd, also an African-American, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which triggered the largest wave of protests against police brutality and racism. But Taylor also became an icon of the movement to denounce systemic, structural racism in law enforcement that disproportionately affects African-Americans and members of other minorities.
The state attorney general, Merrick Garland, has announced that the four officials will be charged with violating “federal civil rights laws, [violaciones] which resulted in Taylor’s death.” Among the charges against them, the head of Justice has underlined, is lying to obtain the search warrant with which they broke into an anti-drug operation at night in his apartment, in which no narcotics were found.
The charges represent the latest effort by the Justice Department to take exemplary action against abuse and marked racial bias in policing, following a wave of controversial uniformed killings of black Americans. Blocked by the Republican opposition, the promised police reform of President Joe Biden, who in return announced in May a battery of measures against the excessive use of force by law enforcement, remains on the wing.
Local justice had so far only charged one of the agents involved, not for the death of the young woman but for having “endangered” the neighbors by firing his weapon blindly through the window and a sliding glass door. , “an excessive and unconstitutional use of force”. The policeman, Brett Hankison, was acquitted in March, something that anti-racist activists considered a dereliction of the duty of justice.
Federal justice, meanwhile, has continued with its own case, which has led to the formal accusation “for excessive use of force” of the four workers, as announced by Garland on Thursday. The car also accuses them of having lied to obtain the search warrant that gave rise to the event. “The defendants knew that the order contained false and misleading information and omitted material information,” Garland explained at a press conference in Washington. “[Los cuatro] They knew that this could create a dangerous situation and we believe that these illegal acts led to Taylor’s death.”
“Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” Garland said. “The Department of Justice is committed to defending and protecting the civil rights of every person in this country. That was the founding purpose of this department and it remains our urgent mission.”
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Joshua Jaynes, Kelly Goodlett, and Kyle Meany, the other agents involved in the raid, quickly took “measures to hide their misdeeds,” including lying to the FBI. The three “applied for a search warrant at Taylor’s home knowing there was no reason to search.”
The events occurred on the night of March 13, 2020, when three police officers from the Louisville Metropolitan Department broke into the home of Breonna, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, as part of a drug trafficking investigation related to her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. .
The young woman was in the house with her partner, Kenneth Walker, who, believing that they were thieves, opened fire with a weapon whose possession he legally held. Officers responded with 22 shots, one of which “struck Breonna Taylor in the chest and killed her,” according to Garland’s account. The agents were provided with a search warrant that authorized them to break down the door without prior notice, although they assure that they were announced. Walker denies it.
Taylor’s death did not attract special attention at the time, one of many interventions with collateral victims – the vast majority, African-Americans – but the case resurfaced during the largest wave of protests and racial riots since the sixties of the last century after the death of George Floyd, on May 25 of that year.
Louisville, the largest city in Kentucky, was lifted in September 2020, forcing the authorities to decree a curfew, after prosecutors gave up prosecuting the other police officers involved in the event and only formalized their accusation against Hankison
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